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Changing the way food companies do business

By Ben Grossman-Cohen

In the last twelve months, people like you have taken nearly 400,000 actions to urge food and beverage companies to respect the rights of small farmers.

It’s been a year since Oxfam launched Behind the Brands, an effort to change how food and beverage companies do business in developing countries. Hundreds of thousands of people like you have joined the campaign by urging the brands you love to respect the rights of people in their supply chains.

Thanks to these actions, nine of the ten biggest food and beverage companies in the world have improved their social and environmental policies and made strides to help reduce hunger and poverty. It’s a great first step and it’s all thanks to consumers speaking up to urge companies to do the right thing.

Our goal was to inspire a race to the top, to convince companies that it is in their best interest to be leaders in moving the food industry towards more sustainable, responsible practices. That race is underway and there are some leaders and some clear laggards.

Companies like Mars, Nestle and Mondelez have made important commitments to address inequality facing women farmers in their supply chains while Coca-Cola took a stand  for farmer’s land rights. The progress has come fastest in areas where Oxfam and our supporters campaigned for change. You’ve proven that no company is too big to listen to its customers.

While most companies are moving in the right direction, some are being dragged along kicking and screaming. By and large, the improvements are far too slow. As consumers, we’ll need to continue to speak up to keep pressure on the food and beverage industry to turn things around.

Behind The Brands One Year - Changing the way food companies do business

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